Matenge — Residents of Matenge have been told to consider themselves fortunate to have secured Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) funds for new customary court offices.
Officially opening the offices on Wednesday, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Frans Van Der Westhuizen said Matenge kgotla was one of those in dire need of office space across the country.
Government, he said, saw the village's need and sourced funds from ESP savings.
He said the P1.2 million project was meant to give the village a dignified look in that a kgotla was a meeting place for the community.
Mr Van Der Westhuizen said there were over 500 dikgotla under his ministry which all needed resources for office space, vehicles and computers among others.
He said the Matenge kgotla was given priority because its offices had been rendered inhabitable by a termite infestation.
The minister said developing a kgotla strengthened the traditional justice system by virtue of being a consultative forum for the community.
"A Kgotla is a depository for cultural norms and activities and it instills morals and strengthens social cohesion," he said.
Mr Van Der Westhuizen called on all villages across the country to prioritise their needs for effective utilisation of constituency funds.
Matenge chief Kgosi Kutlwano Matenge said his village prided itself on well-disciplined children with good morals.
He said ESP was very beneficial to Batswana as it speeded up developments in areas that experienced financial shortfalls.
Speaking on behalf of residents, Kgosi Matenge expressed gratitude for the new offices especially since village youth were engaged during the construction phase.
"As kgosi, I vow to lead by example and serve our people with devotion and dignity," he said.
Kgosi Matenge noted that the offices were not built for the kgosi but for the community, which included every Motswana who might need services in Matenge.
North East District Council chairperson, Ms Florah Mpetsane said ESP served a purpose by bringing developments to Batswana.
She said it was commendable that ESP had left a long lasting footprint not just in Maitengwe but in the district.
Other North East District villages which put up kgotla office structures through ESP were Senyawe, Mambo and Kgari.
Ms Mpetsane said officers would be motivated to work even harder due to improved and conducive work environment.
She commended council officers for their commitment towards all projects undertaken in the district by monitoring and assessing to ensure compliance.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>